Delhi HC reserves verdict in police’s plea against discharge order of Sharjeel Imam, 10 others

The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved order in the revision petition filed by Delhi Police against the trial court order discharging Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha and eight others in the 2019 violence during the protest against CAA at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma reserved the order after hearing Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and the lawyers representing the respondents who were discharged.

Senior advocate Rebecca John, who appeared for Zargar, argued that the person who has been identified as her client had a face cover: “How can these witnesses come to the conclusion it is me? Until my identity isn’t confirmed, my role has to be disconnected.”

The lawyer further argued that the reliance on call detail records is irrelevant since Zargar was an Mphil student, living in Jamia Millia Islamia and that she was not named until the second supplementary chargesheet filed in July 2021 for an incident that happened in 2019.

She said, “It’s my argument that somewhere you’ve to say how did you identify this person. You can’t make out who that person is.”

She claimed that the two police officers who were standing outside the gate close to the site where the incident took place have not identified her client, according to the Indian Express. She referred to a statement made by an ASI to argue that the word (ladkon/ladka) used in the chargesheet referred to me. “I am not a ladka, I’m a ladki.”

Advocate Talib Mustafa, who appeared for Sharjeel Imam, argued that there was not a single photo, video, or witness statement in all chargesheets against his client. On police’s reliance on call detail records, Mutafa said that his client left the “lawful assembly which allegedly turned violent” because his glasses had broken.

ASG Jain submitted that the trial court “overstepped its jurisdiction” in passing “disparaging and gravely prejudicial observations” against the probe and investigative agency and said same ought to be expunged from the record, according to LiveLaw.

“Appreciation by the trial court that these are innocent bystanders are completely belied,” Jain said.

The police sought the setting aside of the February 4 order of Saket court that discharged Imam and the others, alleging that the trial court not only discharged the respondents but was “also swayed by emotional and sentimental feelings, it cast aspersions on the prosecuting agency and passed gravely prejudicial and adverse remarks against the prosecuting agency and the investigation”.



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